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British Malaya

The term "British Malaya" loosely describes a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the island of Singapore that were brought under British hegemony or control between the 18th and the 20th centuries. Unlike the term "British India", which excludes the Indian princely states, British Malaya is used to refer to the Federated and Unfederated Malay States, which were British protectorates with their own local rulers, as well as the Straits Settlements, which were under the sovereignty and direct rule of the British Crown, after a period of control by the East India Company. Before the formation of the Malayan Union in 1946, the territories were not placed under a single unified administration, with the exception during the immediate post-war period when a British military officer became the temporary administrator of Malaya. Instead, British Malaya comprised the Straits Settlements, the Federated Malay States, the Unfederated Malay States. Under British hegemony, Malaya was one of the most profitable territories of the Empire, being the world's largest producer of tin and rubber.

During the Second World War, Japan ruled a part of Malaya as a single unit from Singapore. The Malayan Union was unpopular and in 1948 was dissolved and replaced by the Federation of Malaya, which became independent on 31 August 1957. On 16 September 1963, the federation, along with North Borneo and Singapore, formed the larger federation of Malaysia; the British first became formally involved in Malay politics in 1771, when Great Britain tried to set up trading posts in Penang a part of Kedah. The British were in complete control of the state at that time. In the mid-18th century, British firms could be found trading in the Malay Peninsula. In April 1771, Sulivan and de Souza, a British firm based in Madras, sent Francis Light to meet the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Muhammad Jiwa Zainal Adilin II, to open up the state's market for trading. Light was a captain in the service of the East India Company; the Sultan faced external threats during this period. Siam, at war with Burma and which saw Kedah as its vassal state demanded that Kedah send reinforcements.

Kedah, in many cases, was a reluctant ally to Siam. After negotiations with Light, the Sultan agreed to allow Jourdain, de Souza to build and operate a trading post and in Kedah, if the British agreed to protect Kedah from external threats. Light conveyed this message to his superiors in India; the East India Company, did not agree with the proposal. Two years Sultan Muhammad Jiwa died and was succeeded by Sultan Abdullah Mahrum Shah; the new Sultan offered Light the island of Penang in return for military assistance for Kedah. Light informed the East India Company of the Sultan's offer; the Company, ordered Light to take over Penang and gave him no guarantee of the military aid that the Sultan had asked for. Light took over Penang and assured the Sultan of military assistance, despite the Company's position. Soon the Company told Light that they would not give any military aid to Kedah. In June 1788, Light informed the Sultan of the Company's decision. Feeling cheated, the Sultan ordered Light to leave Penang.

Light's refusal caused the Sultan to strengthen Kedah's military forces and to fortify Prai, a stretch of beach opposite Penang. Recognising this threat, the British razed the fort in Prai; the British thereby forced the Sultan to sign an agreement that gave the British the right to occupy Penang. On 1 May 1791, the Union Flag was raised in Penang for the first time. In 1800, Kedah ceded Prai to the British and the Sultan received an increase of 4,000 pesos in his annual rent. Penang was named Prince of Wales Island, while Perai was renamed Province Wellesley. In 1821, Siam invaded Kedah, sacked the capital of Alor Star, occupied the state until 1842. Before the late 19th century, the British practised a non-interventionist policy. Several factors such as the fluctuating supply of raw materials, security, convinced the British to play a more active role in the Malay states. From the 17th to the early 19th century, Malacca was a Dutch possession. During the Napoleonic Wars, between 1811 and 1815, like other Dutch holdings in Southeast Asia, was under the occupation of the British.

This was to prevent the French from claiming the Dutch possessions. When the war ended in 1815, Malacca was returned to the Dutch. In 1824 the British and the Dutch signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824; the treaty, among other things transferred Malacca to British administration and divided the Malay world into two separate entities, laying the basis for the current Indonesian-Malaysian boundary. Modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles, with a great deal of help from Major William Farquhar. Before establishing Singapore, Raffles was the Lieutenant Governor of Java from 1811 till 1815. In 1818 he was appointed to Bencoolen. Realising how the Dutch were monopolising trade in the Malay Archipelago, he was convinced that the British needed a new trading colony to counter Dutch trading power. Months of research brought him to an island at the tip of the Malay Peninsula; the island was ruled by a temenggung. Singapore was under the control of Tengku Abdul Rahman, the Sultan of the Johore-Riau-Lingga Sultanate, in turn under the influence of the Dutch and the Bugis.

The Sultan would never agree to a British base in Singapore. However, Tengku Abdul Rahman had become sultan only becaus

Nǁng language

Nǁng or Nǁŋǃke known by the name of its dialect Nǀuu, is a moribund Tuu language once spoken in South Africa. It is no longer spoken on a daily basis; the dialect name ǂKhomani is used for the entire people by the South African government, but the descendants of ǂKhomani-dialect speakers now speak Khoikhoi. As of January 2013, only three speakers of the Nǀuu dialect and two of the ǁʼAu dialect remain. Nǁng belongs to the Tuu language family, with extinct ǀXam being its closest relative and Taa its closest living relative; the two recent dialects are ǁʼAu. Extinct dialects include Langeberg. ǂKhomani had been recorded by Doke and by Maingard, Nǀhuki by Weshphal, Langeberg by Dorothea Bleek. As of 2010, most remaining speakers spoke Nǀuu dialect, this was the name Nǁng appeared under when it was rediscovered. However, two rejected the label Nǀuu. Of the names Nǀuu, ǁʼAu, Nǁng, the easiest for English speakers to pronounce is Nǀuu; the letter that looks like a vertical bar represents a dental click like the English interjection tsk! tsk! used to express pity or shame, but nasalized.

The double-vertical-bar in "Nǁng" is a lateral click, pronounced like the tchick! used to spur on a horse. The word nǀuu /ᵑǀùú/ is a verb,'to speak Nǀuu'; the people call themselves Nǁŋ-ǂe /ᵑǁŋ̀ŋ̀ ǂé/'people', Westphal believes this may be the term recorded by Bleek and variously rendered in the literature as ǁNg ǃʼe, ǁn-ǃke, ǁŋ.ǃke. The name Nǀusan is an ambiguous Khoekhoe exonym, is used for several Tuu languages. Traill says that the ǀʼAuni call their language Nǀhuki, but others have recorded their name for their language as ǀʼAuo, both Westphal and Köhler state that Nǀhuki is a variety of Nǁng. It's not clear if languages have gotten mixed up in the literature. Nǁng prospered through the 19th century, but encroaching non-ǃKwi languages and acculturation threatened it, like most other Khoisan languages; the language was displaced by Afrikaans and Nama after speakers started migrating to towns in the 1930s and found themselves surrounded by non-Nǁng-speaking people. In 1973 their language was declared extinct, the remaining Nǁnǂe were evicted from the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.

In the 1990s, linguists located 101-year-old Elsie Vaalbooi. Anthony Traill interviewed her in 1997; the South African San Institute soon became involved in the pursuit of information on the Nǁng language, with the help of Vaalbooi they tracked down 25 other people scattered by the eviction who were able to speak or at least understand the language. Thabo Mbeki handed over 400 km2 of land to the Nǁnǂe in 1999, 250 km2 of land within the park in 2002. Vaalbooi came up with the Nǁng motto of Sa ǁʼa ǃainsi uinsi "We move towards a better life" for her rehabilitated people; this was adopted as the official motto for the Northern Cape Province. At the time there were twenty elderly speakers, eight of whom lived in the Western Cape province signed over to them; as of 2007, fewer than ten are still alive in South Africa, a few more in Botswana. The younger generations of ǂKhomani are proud Nama speakers, have little affinity to Nǁng, so there is little chance of saving the language. Linguist Nigel Crawhall is heading a team to document.

Recent research on Nǁng led by Amanda Miller of Cornell University has helped describe the physics of its clicks, leading to a better understanding of click sounds in general. Efforts to perpetuate the Nǁng language continue in 2017. Nǁng has one of the more complex sound inventories of the world's languages. Most lexical words consist of a phonological foot with two moras; the first mora must start with a consonant. The second mora may be a single vowel, a nasal consonant m or n, or one of a drastically reduced number of consonants plus a vowel; that is, lexical roots, not counting sometimes lexicalized CV prefixes and suffixes, are CVcV, CVV, CVN, though there are a few which are CV, as well as longer words of two phonological feet: CVCV, where the second C is not one of the reduced set of consonants but cannot be a click, CVCVN, CVVCV, CVNCV, CVVCVN, CVNCVN, CVcVCV, CVVCVcV. Grammatical words tend to be CV or V. There are occasional exceptions to these patterns in ideophonic words such as /ɟùɾùkúɟúí-sí/'Namaqua sandgrouse' and reduplicated words with clicks such as /ǁáḿǁàm̀/'to talk'.

Like most languages in southern Africa, Nǁng has five vowel qualities. These may occur nasalized. A word may have two adjacent vowels, which resemble a long diphthong; the strident vowels are thought to have the phonation called harsh voice. They are pharyngealized, for some speakers involve low-frequency trilling that involves the aryepiglottic fold; the four strident vowel qualities are rather different from the non-strident vowels, as is common when a vowel is pharyngealized. Nǁng is the only Khoisan language known to have a strident front vowel, /eˤ/, though this is rare, occurring in only two known words, /zḛ̰́é/'to fly' and /ᵑ̊ǂḛ̰̀βé/'loincloth'; the lack of a nasalized equivalent is thought to be an accidental gap or unattested due to the small number of known words. The tone-bearing segment may be a syllabic nasal, /ŋ̍/, rather than a vowel

Giovanni Bignami

Giovanni Fabrizio Bignami was an Italian physicist. From March 2007 until August 2008, he was Chairman of the Italian Space Agency. Between 2010 and 2014, he was the first Italian to chair the Committee on Space Research, from 2011 until 2015, he was President of INAF, he was the chairman of the SKA project. He was married to fellow Italian astrophysicist Patrizia A. Caraveo. Bignami graduated from the University of Milan in 1968 with a degree in physics. From 1988 to 1997, he was the Principal Investigator for the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton mission, was a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the IUSS Pavia in Pavia, he is most known for his discovery of the neutron star Geminga. From 2004 to 2007, he was President of the Space Science Advisory Committee of the European Space Agency, from 2007 to 2008, he was Chairman of the Italian Space Agency. Bignami stood as a Democratic Party candidate for Lombardy, Valle d'Aosta and Liguria in the 2009 European Parliament election, his campaign slogan was "Più ricerca in più futuro in Europa" He was not elected.

In 2010, he was elected President of the Committee on the first Italian to do so. He held the post until 2014. From 2011 until 2015, Bignami was President of INAF. Bignami received several honours, including the Bruno Rossi Prize from the American Astronomical Society, the Blaise Pascal Medal for Astrophysics from the European Academy of Sciences and the Von Karman Award from the International Academy of Astronautics, he was named Officier of the Légion d’Honneur and the Ordre national du Mérite, member of the Accademia dei Lincei and of the French Academy of Sciences. Bignami died on 24 May 2017 in Spain. La storia nello spazio, Mursia, 2001, ISBN 88-425-2939-7. L'esplorazione dello spazio. Alla scoperta del sistema solare, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2006, ISBN 88-15-11404-1. I marziani siamo noi. Un filo rosso dal Big Bang alla vita, Zanichelli, 2010, ISBN 978-88-08-26156-4. Translated into English as We are the Martians, Berlin, 2012 Cosa resta da scoprire, Mondadori, 2011, ISBN 978-88-04-61364-0. Ristampato nel 2012 nella serie bestseller “Oscar”.

Translated into English as Imminent Science, Springer, 2014 G. Bignami-Cristina Bellon, Il futuro spiegato ai ragazzi, Mondadori, 2012, ISBN 978-88-04-61681-8. Il mistero delle sette sfere. Cosa resta da esplorare. Dalla depressione di Afar alle stelle più vicine, Mondadori, 2013, ISBN 978-88-04-63068-5. Translated into English as The Mystery of the Seven Spheres, Springer, 2015 A Scenario for Interstellar Exploration and Its Financing, Springer Verlag, 2013, ISBN 88-47-05336-6. G. Bignami-Andrea Sommariva, Oro dagli asteroidi e asparagi da Marte. Realtà e miti dell'esplorazione dello spazio, Mondadori University, 2015, ISBN 978-88-6184-418-6. G. Bignami-Andrea Sommariva, The Future of Human Space Exploration, Macmillan, 2016